Cherry Chocolate Kiss Cookies

This coming Monday is President’s Day so in honor of dear ole George I am posting a great recipe for Cherry Chocolate Cookies handed to me by my friend Brigitte. Yum.

They are easy to make, delicious to eat, and everyone needs a reason to indulge in something sweet. Well, not everyone, because I often eat without any rhyme or reason, just because foods are tasty and satisfying! Who really needs a reason?

There are ways to make this recipe a little healthier and weight conscious appropriate: replace 1/4 or 1/2 of the butter with cherry applesauce, but beware that the texture might not be so delightful.

Applesauce is a better replacement for oil. Also, skip out on the drizzling of the icing. You could also eliminate the kiss, but in doing so you are breaking my heart. 🙂

Cherry Chocolate Kiss Cookies

1 c. confectioners’ sugar
1 c. softened butter
2 tsp. maraschino cherry liquid
1/2 tsp. almond extract
3-4 drops red food coloring
1/2 c. maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
48 milk chocolate kisses (use dark to make it more heart healthy)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups unbleached flour

Icing: Mix 1 cup powdered sugar, 2-3 tsps. water, and 1 1/2 tsp. almond extract.

1. Unwrap kisses (duh) and preheat oven to 350*.
2. Combine sugar, butter, cherry liquid, almond extract, and food coloring, blending well.
3. Add flour and salt and mix well.
4. Fold in cherries.
5. Shape dough into 1 inch balls around kiss and place on ungreased cookie sheet.
6. Bake for 8-10 minutes, remove, cool, and drizzle with icing.
7. Makes 4 dozen cookies.

Here’s an option: , When finished cooking, remove, and immediately press kiss into each cookie instead of baking it on the inside.…

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Back With Blueberry Muffins

Okay, so I have been not posting lately and I apologize for that but I have been one busy person. I have had a lot of changes in my life (not the usual woman changes thank God for that) but nonetheless my time has been consumed by some good and some bad times.

I decided that my to-do list, sometimes referred to as a bucket list, was growing and needed to be addressed in the here and now and not the later. Why wait? So, I took the first thing on the list, learning to play the piano the proper, classical way, got my butt in gear, signed up for lessons, bought a piano, and have been busy ever since with that.

I also took care of my ailing soon to be 15 Bichon and had to euthanize her. That was the saddest day in my life. Having a pet can consume even the coldest of hearts. God I miss that little girl! But, being the softhearted soul that I am and having never lived without a dog, I decided to give a needy dog a new home, so I rescued a beautiful black lab.

Lucy arrived yesterday at Logan airport, she is here now, and is settling in quite nicely (obviously as she took my place on the couch), so now it’s back to writing and cooking since I lost my comfy seat. Back to the normal part of life. Back to blueberry muffins and all the good stuff.

BTW, I must also mention that a very good friend of mine that retired from teaching and is enjoying life to the fullest, approached me and informed me that I needed to  post more recipes as she had already tried all of mine. So Carol, this one’s for you!!

Perfect for summer, fall, anytime, and is healthy. I began adding resistant starches to my recipes as a way to increase the fiber content of baked goods.  Turns out that resistant starch resists digestion (duh, should’ve seen this coming) and settles right into the large intestine where it acts like fiber and improves digestion.

This is not new nor is it a quacky diet phase. It did improve my recipe, my old faithful chocolate cake recipe, as it gave it a different texture. Adding resistant starch to a recipe does not change the flavor. I purchased mine at King Arthur Flour. I read about resistant starches in the CarbLovers Diet Book. Interesting read, some great recipes, and I believe it is a natural, non-diet way to eat and live.

All diets work if you stick with them, keeping off the weight is another matter, and CarbLovers does keep one satisfied and happy and is balanced, touching all food groups. Anyways, (not anywho), I made these muffins, they were very flavorful, packed with blueberries, and are a great anytime snack. I’d love to hear comments about these  muffins. If you don’t have resistant starch (Hi-Maize Natural Fiber) then substitute flour. That means this recipe would have 2 1/4 cups flour without the added starch.

Also, the batter is thick and if you are using frozen berries do not thaw them!! Mush if you do.  Using frozen berries ups the baking time a couple minutes. You can also sprinkle some large crystal sugar mixed with a smidgen of cinnamon on the top of the muffins before baking. Enjoy!!

No Guilt Blueberry Muffins

1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup hi-maize resistant starch
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 stick butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. lemon extract
1/2 cup vanilla or lemon yogurt
1 1/2 cups blueberries

Directions

1) Preheat the oven to 375°F and get muffin tins ready. This makes 12 muffins.

2) Mix the flour, resistant starch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, then set aside.

3) Beat the butter and sugar until light and  fluffy.

4) Add in eggs and mix thoroughly.

5) Mix in the extracts and yogurt.

6) Stir in the dry ingredients.

7) Fold in the berries,  fill the muffin tins 3/4  full,  and then bake for about 20 minutes or until they pass the toothpick test.…

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